(MENAFN - Jordan Times) A Royal Decree was issued on Tuesday appointing Hisham Tal as president of the Court of Cassation and the Higher Judicial Council.
Tal was sworn in before His Majesty King Abdullah on Tuesday as president of the Cassation Court, a Royal Court statement said.
In a letter to Tal, the King stressed that the judiciary should "have the final say on all corruption cases, based on solid evidence and in line with the provisions of the law, away from rumours and groundless accusations".
"In light of the increasing talk of corruption, which we deem our enemy and the enemy of all Jordanians, we emphasise that the judiciary should play its rightful role...," he said (see official translation of the letter).
"Judges should apply the law in full independence, free from any pressures," the Monarch stressed, noting that the recently endorsed constitutional amendments "entrench the independence of the judiciary and empower it" to protect citizens' rights.
His Majesty added that the judiciary "should be the guarantor of the rule of law, the country's stability and prosperity".
"The judiciary protects citizens' dignity and rights, and safeguards public funds, in a way that enhances the credibility of the state and public trust in it, in addition to ensuring the people's well-being and confidence," he said.
The King also stressed the need to develop all judicial apparatuses.
"" We emphasise the need to develop the judicial apparatus, inspired by and building on the achievements of the past years, particularly the strategy to build the capacity of the judicial authority for 2012-2014."
The development plan, he said, should ensure that "all cases are ruled on with utter neutrality".
"The principle of specialisation should be adopted in all judicial fields so that judges are enabled to rule on cases they are specialised in," the Monarch added, urging judges to keep abreast of the latest in legislation and judicial practices.
"As we are in the process of completing political reform legislation and are facing tremendous economic challenges, we believe that an independent and just judiciary that makes individuals and groups feel secure is a pillar of stability and progress, a safeguard of reform achievements and a guarantee of rights and freedom within the framework of the rule of law and the Constitution," he said.
Earlier on Tuesday a Royal Decree was issued accepting Tal's resignation from the Senate, while another decree sent outgoing president of the Cassation Court Mohammad Al Mahameed to retirement upon his request, the Royal Court statement said.
Born in Irbid in 1942, Tal earned a law degree from Damascus University in 1964. He served as justice minister under Samir Rifai's government.
Tal also served as deputy prime minister and minister of parliamentary affairs in Adnan Badran's government, and was also minister of state for prime ministry affairs, minister of political development and justice. Tal, who served as a judge at the Court of Cassation and the Higher Court of Justice also worked as president of the Legislation and Opinion Bureau at the Prime Ministry. He was appointed as senator in October 2011.